My Irish Gin Wishlist

My Irish Gin Wishlist

I told you guys before that I’m taking my blog in a new direction and writing about what I know and love. What do I really love? Gin. All my friends know I’m a gin fanatic. I only ever had my first gin and tonic when I was 22 – but I’ve been hooked since. It was an old boyfriend who told me to first try it and now I’ve become obsessed. So if you want to blame someone for my gin snobbery, blame him!

I’m especially obsessed with Irish gin. Sure, I enjoy a Hendricks and Monkey 47 (when someone else buys it) but my favourite gin has to be Thin Gin. When I first learned of Thin Gin, I thought “Unreal! A gin with less calories, how cool!” Eh, WRONG. The name comes from the creator, Isaac Thin – a Jewish New Yorker who never planned to end up in Waterford. However, he did end up in Waterford and thank God for that because he created a tasty gin along the way. Thin’s history is quite interesting and you can find out more here – but we’re not here to talk about gins I already love.

We’re here to talk about Irish gins that I have always wanted to try and intrigue me. I think of gin like wine – it’s an acquired taste that you develop as you age. In a previous job, I’ve attended a wine tasting but I also got to attend Thin Gin’s launch in Dublin (which left me very merry.) I was a gin fan for two years by this stage but it was at the launch I made a bigger effort to look into gin and in particular gin in Ireland.

Almost every season there’s a new Irish gin launched and every time there is, I want to dive in. On my list there are a few well-known gins that you’ll be shocked to find out I haven’t sampled but there are also some new gins that I’m sure you’re also dying to try.

Special shout to Peter from Blackwater Distillery for a few extra nuggets of information that I’ve included in this post!

And of course drink responsibly!!

1. Gunpowder Irish Gin

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First up is Gunpowder Irish Gin. When I heard gunpowder, not going to lie but I thought “Like, for guns?” Yes, I’m a fool – but it’s from gunpowder green tea. I’m a huge green tea fan so when I found out this, it made me more intrigued. With eight botanicals slow distilled by hand in Medieval copper pot stills and four vapour infused botanicals including fresh grapefruit, Gunpowder have carefully crafted their recipe.

Hailing from Co. Leitrim, Gunpowder Irish Gin was created by PJ Rigney who travelled to familiar lands but also places off the beaten track. Through his travels, he ended up in the wild and unspoilt landscape of Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim and created this gin. I’ve been told that it’s delicious on the rocks but also like nectar when served with a simple tonic and cucumber.

2. Mór Irish Gin

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I was first introduced to Mór Irish Gin when Aaron Wall talked through different Irish gins on The Late Late Show earlier this year. Mór strives to create a “consistently excellent gin” and do so by using the simplest and purest flavours to craft a “bold gin” that’s “true to it’s botanical flavours.” As you can tell from my inverted commas, I’ve no idea if this is true but it won me over. It sounds like it has a distinct flavour that’s earthy.

Based in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Mór say that their home is more than just a setting but runs through their gin “just as the Slieve Bloom mountain does.” How beautiful does that sound? It’s a place I’m interested in now visiting because of that one line. When I do finally get to sample this gin, I hope I get to taste the green grass.

3. Blackwater No5 Irish Gin

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As you know, I’m in love with Thin Gin. Thin Gin is my favourite and there’s no arguing with that. So when I heard that Blackwater No5 Gin was distilled in Waterford, where Thin Gin’s story began, I knew it was going to be added to this list. Each batch of Blackwater No5 Gin is carefully made in their micro-distillery in small amounts from pure spirit, soft local water and fresh botanicals. Not only that, but it’s made surrounded by fresh air – which some say help give it that smooth flavour. On their website Blackwater say that they do everything by hand and eye, which takes longer but they insist that it’s worth it in the end.

Based in West Waterford, the scenic views is the perfect setting for gin making. Imaging waking up at the crack of dawn and seeing a beautiful green landscape in front of you? Actually, do you think I could take a holiday there and help them out? I promise I won’t steal all the gin (just most of it.)

4. Ha’penny Pot Still Gin

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Ha’penny Gin is a craft dry gin based on the iconic Ha’penny Bridge. They say that each botanical was specially selected and inspired by the Victorian Walled gardens of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. The botanicals they use include blackberries, lavender, geranium and dandelion flowers as well as traditional juniper and other popular gin ingredients. While I doubt I’ll be drinking this on the rocks, I’m definitely eager to try it with a tasty flavoured tonic.

Based in Kerry (not Dublin, I know!) the gin is named after the well-known bridge constructed in 1816. It was the first pedestrian link to the North and South to Dublin and to this day is marched across by hundreds of people every day. Ha’penny Gin’s label is also inspired from some of the design details found on the Victorian ironwork of the popular landmark – pretty cool, right?

5. Glendalough Dillisk Gin

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This is a newbie but a goodie (from what I’ve heard on the grapevine) (that would’ve been a great pun for a wine wishlist.) Lovin.ie praised Glendalough Dillisk Gin while it was on limited release but now it has hit the market and becoming a fast favourite. The seasonal gin is handcrafted using Dillisk seaweed. Like Irish weather, each seasonal gin is different. Thanks to our hormonal weather, this results in a unique taste every time because of the ever changing array of botanicals, berries and fruit.

Created in their Glendalough distillery, it’s part of their ‘Ginteresting’ releases. Right off the bat, I was won over by the bottle’s label design. It instantly made me think of holy water – but a tastier type of holy water. Each season, the distillers spend a week in the wild Wicklow countryside foraging for the freshest and most interesting local botanicals, berries and fruit. This handcrafted gin is sure to bring a different flavour each season – so I guess that means I have to keep trying it every new season.

6. Bertha’s Revenge

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What got my attention with this gin is the story – but first, the flavour. Their Irish milk gin is the one I’m keen on trying. Using whey alcohol from the local dairy farmers in Cork, where they’re based, along with their own natural well water and locally grown botanicals, they have created a very special gin.

But who is Bertha? She was a cow, and she was a fantastic cow at that. She was reared locally, and was bought as a calf by a farmer called Jerome O’Leary. When she passed away on New Year’s Eve 1993, just three months away from her 49th birthday, the Droimeann cow had become somewhat of a local celebrity in her hometown of Sneem, Co. Kerry. She gave birth to 39 calves and with this achievement, along with her age, she became famous the world over and earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. The team behind Bertha’s Revenge didn’t know the cow personally but a friend of theirs had stumbled upon her wake in the Blackwater Tavern on the day she passed and learned about her. So when they were thinking of a name for their gin, they “wanted to find something that was eye-catching, distinctive and that dove-tailed with the pedigree of what we are working with and what we have set out to achieve. The dairy farming heritage of Ballyvolane, our use of whey alcohol in the gin, and our shared love of the gorgeous and gentle characters that can be found only in Ireland led us back to Bertha.” And so, they immortalised her memory and brought her back in spirit (waits for laughs.)

7. Von Hallers Gin

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Alright guys, I’m not going to lie – I was drawn to Von Hallers Gin because of the bottle. Like Gunpowder, the bottle and label are just too pretty not to give this a go. That said, it also sounds pretty tasty. The slow-distilled gin has ingredients including ginger, lemon verbana, halleria and other traditional gin botanicals such as the basic bitch that is juniper (still a goodie though.)

Von Hallers is a collaborative product that takes German grown botanicals and then distills them at the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo in County Leitrim. Created by physicist, poet and botanist Albrecht Von Haller in 1736, the Göttingen botanical gardens he established still stand today and send their rarest botanicals to Ireland. Doesn’t that sound delicious? I can’t wait to have a taste.

8. Eglinton Gin

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Launched just over a year ago, Eglinton Gin has received high praise from people across Ireland. It has yet to hit the east of the country but no doubt it’ll stretch across soon. It’s distilled in small batches with delicate citrus and floral botanicals. The gin’s creators say their gin has a distinctly perfumed aroma with perfectly balanced citrus notes. That sounds just a little sexy to me, I’m sold.

Galway’s premier Irish gin, it’s sold exclusively at An Púcan on Forster Street – so obviously, a trip to the west is going to have to happen.

9. Echlinville Gin

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Echlinville Gin is Ireland’s first super-premium single estate pot still gin. That’s a mouthful but it basically means it’s the first high-quality Irish gin. For this reason alone, I’m interested. On their site, they claim that they “truly are producing spirit from field to glass.” Local botanicals including whin bush petals and Strangford Lough seaweed create flavours of the land and sea in this unique gin. You can enjoy Echlinville Gin neat or with elderflower tonic, lemon and mint.

The Echlinville Distillery became Northern Irelands first licensed distillery in over 125 years distilling its first spirit in 2013. They also create whiskey and offer tours in their distillery – again, I’ll need to make a trip out of Dublin to really make the most of tasting this gin.

10. Bonac 24 Gin

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I’ve seen Irish celebs like Roz Purcell promoting this gin and, not going to lie, I was influenced (sure I told you before I’m easily influenced.) I then looked up more about Bonac 24 which made me more curious about this gin. It’s ingredients include juniper, angelica root, cassia, coriander, star anise, cardamom, cucumber, spearmint, pear, lemon, bergamot and curacao – all which are illustrated on their label’s botanical bird. The handcrafted gin is said to be expertly balanced, perfectly distilled and bottled with care.

The high quality gin is the first product from a new distillery established in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow. Father and son duo Michael and Gavin Clifford created their brand after years of discussion between the two on opening a hands on family business. The idea for the distillery came from a passion of Gavin’s and also his time spent working in the drinks industry in New York. After studying in college here in Ireland, Gavin emigrated to the United States where he saw an opportunity to turn a passion of his into a business. But where did the name come from? The father and son sampled many different recipes, but it was the 24th recipe that they agreed on – and so Bonac 24 was born.

And again, drink responsibly – read more on Drinkaware.ie.

Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

When it comes to The Avengers and the Justice League, I will always pick the Justice Leagure. Why? ‘Cause they’re badass but also because Wonder Woman is a huge role model for women all around the world. I love her because she is such a strong character inside and out. She embodies femininity and strength. MAC released a Wonder Woman collection a few years ago and I kick myself for not picking up a few bits.

However, with the new Wonder Woman film such a huge success, Maybelline are bringing out a brand new collection. At the moment, it’s only available in Italy but rumour has it that if it does well over there, it’ll be available in more countries. While Ireland was often overlooked, we’ve become a lot more popular for brands to branch out here. For example, Kat Von D wasn’t available in Ireland until 2016 when she brought her brand to Debenhams. She even flew over for the launch with her WHOLE make-up squad (who are all #makeupgoals.)

The collection will have a selection of matte lipsticks, Maybelline’s iconic Colossal Big Shot mascara and nail polishes – dreamy!

Beat The Burn This Summer

Beat The Burn This Summer

As a painfully white Irish person, I freckle like crazy and burn like a crisp in the sun. Normally when I’m on holidays, I just chill in the shade and lather on SPF 50 every day. However, at home in Dublin I’m not so careful. With the summer sun finally making an appearance, I’ve looked into the best way to take care of my skin before, during and after spending time in the sun.

Before

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Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail. To keep your skin soft and smooth, you should moisturise your skin every day. in the morning and at night. The best way to protect your skin during the day without even think about it is to use a moisturiser with SPF. Even when it’s cloudy, there are still UV rays breaking through – yes, even when the sun is a distant memory. But who likes wearing sticky sun cream every day? Instead I use Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. It’s light, dries quickly and isn’t sticky. However it’s hard to track down so if you see a bottle, snap it up! I bought mine from Boots a little while ago but iHerb also sell it for €10.99.

If you can’t find a daily moisturiser with SPF, just be sure to invest in a good cream. The best way to get and maintain a tan is by having hydrated skin. I’m obsessed with body butters and especially love The Body Shop‘s almond milk and honey range. It’s just €20.95 and will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and ready to tan.

During

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While you’re out in the sun, living it up, sun cream is your go to. There are so many options out there to protect your skin – from Liz Earle to Nivea to Penneys. But what SPF should you use? The American Academy of Dermatology say that dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Another report says that SPF 15 blocks 93% of the suns rays.

However, don’t think that products with the same SPF offer the same protection. You should also look out for UVA protection. But why? UVA forms the majority of UV light and contributes to skin ageing and the development of skin cancer, as it penetrates deeper into the skin. So you should make sure that the product you are buying is EU compliant against both UVA and UVB rays, while the SPF should vary depending on the UV levels and the amount of time you will be in sun.

But what about your tan? Does the higher the protection affect how dark your tan is? The simple answer is yes. Sun cream helps prevent sun burn but you will still tan, it will just take longer.

After

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Is there anything more painful that wearing a bra over your sun burn? To speed up that burn and stop it from peeling, invest in after-sun. Simple as. I use Garnier’s Ambre Solaire After Sun Moisturiser Gel because it’s so nice and cooling but I also use their spray for my back – because I’m no way that flexible, can barely slap on fake tan on my back! The aloe vera in the after sun will help cool your sunburn and speed up the recovery process.

A strange – but good tip – for sun burn is to invest in apple cider vinegar. I’m not saying lash it on your burn, that would be a back idea, but pour it into a hot water bath. Just add a cup or two to your bath and jump in. Make sure it’s diluted as vinegar can burn the skin if concentrated. But how does something I throw on my chips help sunburn? Vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of a burn. Bathing in apple cider vinegar has other benefits too, such as reducing body odour and provides relief to joint pain.

Most vinegars will work but for the best results look for raw, organic apple cider vinegar. I buy mine from Nourish and it’s €8.99 for almost a litre.

Synthetic VS Natural: Which To Use?

Synthetic VS Natural: Which To Use?

Since I started learning about SFX make-up, I only ever looked at the products and skincare. However, I’ve neglected something really important – brushes. For any make-up look, whether it’s beauty or costume, how your make-up looks and stays depends on not only your products but your brushes too.

Before I read up on it, I didn’t have a clue about brushes. I used what I thought were the best ones – I judged brushes on shape, how many bristles they have, that kind of thing. I knew the type of bristles mattered, whether they were real or synthetic hair, but never knew which were better for what products.

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I’ll start off with real hair brushes first and their benefits. These type of brushes are best for powder make-up, such as eyeshadows, bronzers and everything in between. They are great for powder because they are loaded with texture and so hold the product better. Natural hair bristles move freely which help pick up a lot of product in one swipe but it will also blend beautifully. The brush hair is extremely durable and actually get better the more you use them.

However, I believe we should all buy cruelty-free make-up brushes. If you’re shopping online or in store, be sure to check what the brushes are made of and why they are produced. Most real hair bristles are from certified animal farms where animals are shaved or trimmed, like how sheep are for cosy jumpers. But there are some brands who don’t offer as much love and care towards animals, so watch out. For instance, it’s illegal in the European Union to test on animal so you can trust that products produced within the EU are cruelty-free. I love my natural make-up brushes from Zoeva – but you need to read up on any natural brushes to truly buy cruelty free.

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Moving on to synthetic brushes, you can trust most are cruelty-free and the majority are vegan friendly. Unlike natural brushes, synthetic make-up brushes don’t have a cuticle which makes them great for liquid or cream products. I would use these for cream contours, liquid foundation, gel liners and other similar products. Synthetic products tend to gravitate towards each other, making them best for precision applications – so for the perfect winged liner, go synthetic.

For manmade bristles, I particularly love Eco Tools and Inglot brushes but I’m also a huge fan of Joanne Larby’s Fairy Wands – they’re so easy to use, clean and an Irish brand. I also have to give a mention towards Too Faced’s make-up brushes which are synthetic and terribly adorable.

Honestly, I love using synthetic brushes, even for eyeshadow. They’re safe to use and with the advancements in make-up, many synthetic brushes are on par with natural bristles. I love Eco Tools‘ eye brushes because, even though they are synthetic, they pick up product really well and blend really well.

Worth The Fuss? Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser

Worth The Fuss? Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser

I’m a sucker for being influenced – YouTubers, bloggers, Snapchat stars, you name it. However, there are so many people that I don’t believe, who are pushing products to make themselves a bit of cash. When I saw one of the Geordie Shore stars talking about Bondi Sands’ new Self Tan Eraser, I thought “Jog on, that’s a gimmick.” But then I saw a YouTuber who I follow and trust talk about it, which of course changed my mind. I hadn’t seen anyone use it yet, so I picked up a bottle of the Self Tan Eraser from Boots for €19.49 and hoped I wasn’t wasting money on something that didn’t work.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it actually WORKED. I couldn’t believe it, I had tried everything under the sun to remove tan – exfoliators, lemon juice, oil, you name it I’ve tried it. Most of my home tricks did remove a slight bit of tan, but Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser removed 99% of my tan.

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Before

My Bellamianta tan was about five days old. Fortunately with Bellamianta, you don’t have to worry about it fading in patches. But me being the cleanliness freak that I am, the tan had completely come off my hands leaving them their natural shade of shocking white. Luckily this was a good guide to go by for how well the Tan Eraser worked.

The application and removal was so easy. I just shook the bottle up, pumped out generous amounts of foam into my hand and rubbed it all over my old tan. It was quite tacky on my sign while I waited for it to dry. But after a ten minutes (they say you only needed to wait five but I don’t take chances) I jumped into the shower. With a face cloth, I rubbed off the eraser and with it came off my tan. Seriously – it just went. Gone. POOF.

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After

It had all completely come off and my freckles are now more visible than they have been in years. I was not expecting this to work and to work so well. I had some really stubborn tan on my elbows that came off with ease. They say for those kind of patches to use their exfoliator but all I did was just give them a good rub with the cloth.

So is it worth the fuss? Definitely!

Token: Dublin’s First Barcade

Token: Dublin’s First Barcade

In Dublin, we are lucky to have so many different bars, clubs and restaurants to keep us entertained. One of my favourite spots in the city is P Macs which has an amazing selection of board games to keep me and my pals entertained. However, I adore playing video games – my sister knows how competitive I can be at Mario Kart. So when I heard that Dublin was getting it’s first arcade bar, or barcade as they’re known, I had to find out more.

I sat down with Token’s Senior Community Development Officer Brandon a few weeks ago to find out more for Dublin City FM’s Good Morning Dublin (listen back here.) My co-host Megan and I both agreed that it sounded like the ultimate date spot and were excited to check it out. So when Brandon messaged me to invite me to be one of the first people to check it out, I couldn’t say no.

Token is just a stone’s throw away from the Smithfield LUAS stop on Queen Street. And don’t worry, you won’t miss it. The outside is sleek and elegant but the lit up sign saying TOKEN is hard to miss. It fits in perfectly with a few of the older pubs around the area because of it’s simple look but it certainly stands out.

When you first enter Token you’re greeted by Big George, and he’s a bit of a dude. He’s got a beaming smile but like his name suggests, he’s BIG – I wouldn’t want to get on his bad side. For every person that comes to Token, you’re given a small silver Token to pop into their ball machine. There are five different colour balls and each has a reward – from a free drink, another go at the machine and one ball even gives you a free meal, free game token AND a free drink. I think that’s such a nice touch – instantly you’re playing a game and you don’t even realise it!

Of course, as you would in a bar, the first thing to do was grab a drink. The prices for pints is fantastic. Pints of Guinness and Heineken are just a fiver and Orchard Thieves a tasty €6. You can also taste some gorgeous craft beers served on tap but also in bottles and cans. There is something for everyone’s taste. When I first checked it out, there was no cocktail bar open yet, but as I’m a sucker for a gin and tonic you can bet I’ll be the first one there when it does open.

I was lucky enough to bring a plus one on the night, and thank God I did. I was mostly excited to try the food at Token, and with my friend Andy in tow, we tried as much food as we possibly could. First off, the names are gas – Basic Bitch, Side Chick, Haute Damn, Quick Juan, you need to just check it out for yourselves. We tackled the Side Chick chicken burger, the Chihuahua hot dog, the short rib fries AND fries with herb aioli. And let me just say one thing – you DON’T need that much food, our eyes were bigger than out stomach.

With every burger and hot dog, you are served two mini versions along with a handful of chips. I’m a big eater, I could easily win a hot dog eating contest, bu I couldn’t finish my food they were so generous. The hot dog was wonderfully spicy and loaded with pulled pork chilli, as was the short rib fries. Delicious! However, the clear winner has to be the Side Chick burgers – they were so succulent with just a hint of spice and the veg was delightfully fresh. I was so full that I wasn’t able try their dessert. It made me kind of sad because the churros looked (and smelt) divine! Fortunately, I’m heading back later this month and you can bet I’ll be devouring all the churros they have.

But it was a good thing we were so full of food because when we finally waddled over to the games, we went hardcore. What I loved the most was that each section was dedicated to certain games – Mario Kart had its own wall, the retro games were bundled together in front of the main bar, the fight games were in an ACTUAL wrestling ring and the pin ball machines were downstairs where conveniently there was a second bar (though it was still being built when I was there.) But the best touch? There were DRINK holders and tables beside every game. Another nice touch was that there were hand sanitizers dotted around the place.

Speaking of games, I have to talk about the tokens themselves. In the middle of the ground floor you can rock up and buy your tokens – and each token purchase comes with an adorable canvas bag! Just look how cute they are? And the tokens, oh lads, the tokens at Token. The front have the bar’s logo but the back has a picture of J.R.R. Tolkien – Token, Tolkien, I think that’s pretty funny.

It’s these little touches that I love the most when I visit places and Token is full of them. In some of the long tables, you can see action figures in one with comics in another. At the bar, a huge sign below the taps has the most suitable quote from Zelda and there’s a little scrap robot on one of the bar shelves looking down on us – like a little tin ninja. There are far more little details that I loved but I encourage you to go and see what you can find yourself.

And last but not least, the staff. I use the term “dude” a lot to describe people that I think are chill and lovely, but the Token staff are the dudiest of dudes. They’re all so helpful and smiley, they checked up on their customers and made sure everything was going smoothly. Some were throwing coasters under pints left, right and centre, which I, as someone who worked in a bar before, really appreciates.

If you haven’t checked out Token yet, I seriously recommend you do. Dublin is such a diverse and exciting city that it’s hard to find something that really stands out – but Token is exactly that. Token is a bar that is a great spot for a first date, a cool hang out joint for you and friends or even a place you can kill time in. But be sure to book in because this places is going to be jammers all summer long.

I nicked all the photos from Token’s Facebook page, which were shot by the talented Hazel Coonagh – check out her website here.

Why You Need Vitamin A In Your Skincare Routine

Why You Need Vitamin A In Your Skincare Routine

I’m pretty skin obsessed. I strive to have smooth, spot-free skin but that’s not always the case. Now more than ever, even more than when I was a teen, spots keep cropping up on my skin. I’ve also noticed something that’s I though only happened to older people, not me, a young spring chicken at 24 – wrinkles. While no one else can really see my little creases, I can see them and I can see them growing. It’s tough to get totally rid of wrinkles without the help of a doctor and a needle, but it’s not that hard to prevent any severe lines showing up with the help of retinol, or vitamin A.

Retinol when broken down into retinoic acid can communicate with your skin cells and tell a skin cell how to behave and look. It can make your skin appear more normal, healthier and younger – something which I’m striving to hold on to!

When using retinol in your skincare routine, you can expect a lot of results from it. It can help a variety of skin issues including wrinkles, loss of firmness and signs of ageing to uneven skin tone and other signs of sun damage. It also helps to promote the skin’s natural moisturising factor, giving you a radiant glow – you might even get ID’d with your revitalised youthful radiance.

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There are a host of products you can use which contain retinol – and don’t worry, they won’t break the bank. At the moment I’m using This Works’ No Wrinkles Night Repair Serum. I’m using a night serum because even though you can use retinol products during the day (despite the myth that you shouldn’t) retinol does breakdown in sunlight and is so less effective. It’s advised by various skincare professionals to use products with retinol in them at night.

If you’re interested in adding retinol to your nighttime routine, there is one other ingredient that we’re told not use with it – glycolic acid. The mixture of the two can cause irritation and redness in the skin, making it tender to touch. In fact, they say you shouldn’t use any alpha hydroxy acids with retinol. Why? Ranella Hirsch, a dermatologist in Boston, said to Allure Magazine in 2014, “This duo is a recipe for redness and irritation.” However, it’s not easy to find retinol products without alpha hydroxy acids. So if you do happen to have a product with retinol and glycolic acid, you can take an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, to help calm the skin and smoothing on hydrocortisone cream, like HC45.